Meet Michael Wenhold!

We are excited to give our families a little glimpse of the staff here at GWCA and CAN, so that you can see who we are and why we love doing just what we do. Every day we come to work and love to connect with our families, but now we are going to show you whose faces are behind every phone call, letter and E-mail received.

This week we want to introduce you to someone that many of you might not know yet, our Administration Director, Michael Wenhold! Michael is one of this office’s best kept secrets. He is well-known and loved by all of our staff, but due to his behind-the-scenes role, you may have never had the sincere privilege of meeting Michael! He is consistently taking care of the staff and working diligently to make sure that everything around here goes off seamlessly. He is someone that will make your grey skies a little brighter, and put a big smile on your face- mainly because he always has one on his.

So without further ado… Meet Michael!

  1. What is your job title and description here at GWCA?

My title is Administration Director.  I function as the Accounting Manager, Human Resource Manager, and Office Manager for GWCA/CAN.

  1. How long have you been working at GWCA?

I started here in June 2012.

  1. What do you enjoy most about your job?

I enjoy getting to work with all the Great Wall/CAN employees as they help families through the adoption process.  Our staff is filled with dedicated individuals that constantly go above and beyond to make sure families have the best adoption experience.  Getting to work with such selfless individuals makes my job great!

  1. What is the most difficult aspect of your job?

My commute and dealing with Austin traffic.

  1. How have you grown personally from working at GWCA and with their families?

Although I don’t get to work with families directly, I still feel like I have grown from working here.  Working at this organization has opened my eyes to the real problems around the world.  When I think about the problems in my life, they don’t compare in contrast to what others are dealing with.

  1. Why do you love adoption?

I love adoption because it can help a make family complete.  Not everybody has the ability to have children but through adoption everyone can have a family.  Every child deserves to have loving parents and a place to call home.

Fun facts about Michael:

  1. I was born in Plymouth, Massachusetts (where the Pilgrims landed).  I guess that’s why Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday (and the food)!
  2. I love football.  My favorite team is the New England Patriots.  I have a man crush on Tom Brady.  Who doesn’t. I also play in a flag football league.
  3. I am married to my high school sweetheart.  I have 1 son in the 6th grade and 2 dogs.
  4. My wife and I have a retirement plan to open a bed & breakfast on the East Coast.
  5. I have never had any broken bones.

 “Michael is a great representation of GWCA because he embodies the values of the organization. He is hardworking, always willing to help others, and very resourceful. I love working with Michael because he takes pride in his work and makes everyone’s day easier because he works so diligently, consistently going above and beyond what is asked of him. He’s here early and stays late everyday, and that is just one example in how he makes a big difference for the families we serve.” -Michael’s co-worker

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St. Valentine

By definition today is the day of love. The funny thing is, that it’s a day that we either love to love, or rather we love to hate; a day that can elicit a variety of emotion, but many of us can’t even recall why we celebrate it. The story of St. Valentine is indeed a nebulous one. Historians believe that Valentinus was a martyred Saint sometime around 269 AD in Rome—this much we know. After this, the details become a bit hazy. Was he a priest or was he a bishop? How many St. Valentine’s were there? Did the poet Chaucer invent the day as a fallacy? The bottom line is, we don’t really care.

Over the years we have seen and heard some of the greatest love stories of all time waft through our hallways. They usually involve a loving family who feel like there’s just one more of them out there. Someone they’ve never met, but they know that they love from the deepest parts of their being. And they never stop knowing until they meet.

We maybe a little biased, but to us—that’s true love. So with that, we wish you the happiest of days!

Here are some of our favorite quotes about LOVE:

“My heart is, and always will be, yours.” – Sense and Sensibility

“Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” – Ali MacGraw, Love Story

“A simple ‘I love you’ means more than money.” – Frank Sinatra

“To be brave is to love unconditionally without expecting anything in return.” – Madonna

“Love is of all passions the strongest, for it attacks simultaneously the head, the heart, and the senses.” – Lao Tzu

“Where there is love there is life.”-Mahatma Gandhi

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Meet Lizzie Kovach!

We are excited to give our families a little glimpse of the staff here at GWCA and CAN, so that you can see who we are and why we love doing just what we do. Every day we come to work and love to connect with our families, but now we are going to show you whose faces are behind every phone call, letter and E-mail received.

This week we want to introduce you to someone that most of you know, our Adoption Consultant/Outreach and Promotions Manager, Lizzie Kovach! Lizzie is one of the first people that gets to connect with our families and wow, is she perfect for the job… Not only is Lizzie a rockstar, but she is so patient, caring and diligent as she walks with each family through the process of decision-making. There are so many decisions that families must make in the beginning of their journey, like eligibility and adoption desires. Lizzie never misses a step and makes herself available for families to count on 7 days a week. Mostly, we admire how she treats each family as if it were her first—with the utmost sincerity.

So without further ado… Meet Lizzie!


1.       What is your job title and description here at GWCA?

I am the Adoption Consultant/Outreach and Promotions Manager at GWCA and CAN!  I help families just beginning their adoption journey by chatting with them about possible adoption options, eligibility and how to get started with our agency. I also make sure all of our literature, programs, and social media are looking great!

2.      How long have you been working at GWCA?

I’ve been with GWCA/CAN for a year and a half.

3.      What do you enjoy most about your job?

I love getting to know why families wish to adopt.  I remember one family telling me adoption was their “first choice,” and they wanted their child to know they chose adoption to grow their family.  This really touched me because I think all children deserve a family.  I like knowing I can help start a family’s journey…in some small way.

4.      What is the most difficult aspect of your job?

I wish there were more hours in the day!  I constantly have new families inquiring about adoption and new ideas for improving our services.  I am so passionate about finding more adoption resources and being a trusted resource for my families.

5.      How have you grown personally from working at GWCA and with their families?

I have grown so much from my work at GWCA/CAN.  I have learned people value someone listening and advocating for them.  I might have single-parent families or first-time parents…and they so badly want to adopt.  I am genuinely excited when I help them find a program that fits their adoption desires…and even more excited when their kiddo comes home!

6.      Why do you love adoption?

I love adoption because it gives a child a chance to have a family.  Sometimes, it even gives parents a chance to have a family.  Adoption also allows families to be unique, accepting, and patient.  There is a passion in adoption no one can describe, but it is definitely felt.  I see this passion each day, and I love it!

Fun facts about Lizzie:

  1. I love potatoes. Baked, twice-baked, French fried, mashed, scalloped, tater-tots…I just love potatoes.
  2. A good quote can make my day! Here is one for you to enjoy: “Every adult needs a child to teach; it’s the way adults learn.” Frank A. Clark
  3. My favorite movie is Back to the Future I, II, & III. I count the trilogy as one movie.
  4. I enjoy traveling.  I usually spend my vacation time in NYC visiting my older brother. J
  5. My favorite holiday is New Years Eve because it is a time to reflect on the last year and make goals for the new year.

“Lizzie works tirelessly to make sure we provide families with current information on the country requirements and the adoption process.  She thinks outside of the box and consistently comes up with new and innovative ways to overcome obstacles and problem solve. She is always positive and enthusiastic about her work. Lizzie is truly dedicated to helping families with their adoption journey, and can always be counted on to offer her assistance and support to her coworkers.” –Lizzie’s co-worker

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Big Things a-Brewin’

There are some exciting changes going on here and we wanted to update you on all of them! Over the past couple of months our promotions & web development team have been meeting to discuss how we can better serve our families through our existing website and media. Through these meetings we began to formulate new concepts and ideas that we would eventually share with our GWCA families.

After working diligently, last week we began to launch our new website and logo for Great Wall China Adoption. You will notice several changes, mainly to our website and including any literature that includes our logo.

 Introducing our new GWCA logo and design…

When building this website, it was our desire for it to be as straight-forward as possible for our users. From everything from the tabs to the content pages, we wanted to communicate simplicity.  It is our sincerest hope that you find this to be true and are able to access the GWCA website with ease and clarity.

We do have some other exciting, new features and programs coming up that we will be launching in the coming weeks, so please be checking back here for the newest updates! As always, we thank you for your loyalty and it’s our highest honor to serve as your agency choice.

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Media {almost} Monday.

**Yesterday we were having a few minor server issues and were not able to post. Please excuse the tardiness.**

Well the weekend is officially over and everyone is back to the grind at work! With the next week in sight, what better time to catch up on all of your current adoption news from the past week—including country and domestic updates, relevant articles, book recommendations, interesting websites, even how we are seeing adoption being talked about in movies, television, the media, etc.

At GWCA and CAN we know that you, the parents, are our experts so we are calling for your help. Our desire is to make this as interactive as possible, so if you ever have any suggestions about things to add please comment below or E-mail them to Mary at

This past week in adoption:

  • Shoe Collection

Here is the story of one mom helping another mom in her quest to adopt a special needs child. Covered by the local news station, this story is truly one of kindness and the human spirit!

Photo courtesy of MyFOX Phoenix

Here is the direct link to the adoptive family’s blog.

  • Adoption & The Foster Care System

Coverage on adoption is everywhere. This is a recent segment produced by well-known Washington D.C. radio personality, Kojo Nnamdi. He addresses the trends we’ve seen in recent news about the decline of intercountry adoption, and consequently advocates for the adoption of children in the domestic foster care system.

Click here to listen. 

**If you follow the link there is a button in the top left-hand corner that says “Listen.”**

  • 7 Tips on Reputable Adoption Grant & Loan Organizations

We know that many of our families are always actively pursuing ways to make adoption affordable for their individual family. Grants and loans can be two excellent ways to make that happen, but sometimes those organizations are not legitimate. You are trusting people with your private information so it is important to proceed with caution. Here are 7 tips from Founder and Director, Cherri Walrod, on how to recognize signs and verify that an organization is legitimate. Read more here…

Photo courtesy of

Have a wonderful week and check back with us next Monday for more top coverage on adoption!

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